Every day we have a choice to be thankful.

Thankful for where we live, the people in our life, the variety of food we can choose from, the weather, emergency service workers, teachers, creatives, the people who stock the shelves in the supermarkets, the people who take away our rubbish, the air we breathe… the list could go on forever. 

I encouraged my girls to start ‘Thankful Books’ around five years ago. We glued gorgeous fake flowers on the covers and every day they wrote as many thankful notes as they wanted to.

They always find something new to be thankful for and every time I think they’ve come to the end, they keep going. It amazes me!

What a beautiful record of giving thanks to pass onto their children and who knows, maybe their children will start their own.

I read an article where Oprah Winfrey wrote down the things she was grateful for in a “gratitude journal” for a decade. 

In 1996, some of the things she recalls being grateful for included “eating cold melon on a bench in the sun.”

I have come to realise that being thankful is a choice and that everyone is given the opportunity to be thankful and make the most of the day – every day.

I remember my eighth birthday, 42 years ago, and a little girl gave me a 50 cent coin as a present.

I was so ungrateful, and she was so disappointed that I reacted that way.

I have never forgotten it, and often wish I could meet her again to say sorry and tell her I should have been thankful for her gift.

That day I saw first-hand how not being thankful can affect others. Now I know the power it can have on others and how it can turn their whole day around. It makes them feel good, so it’s a win-win. 

With kids, imitation is a huge part of learning, so as an adult, being a positive role model in thankfulness needs to be demonstrated. Providing concrete examples of being thankful demonstrates and reinforces the power of thankfulness.

In my Tessa’s Books of Elegance series, I wanted to have themes of kindness and being thankful because I know the long term effects it can have. 

In The Lovely, Beautiful And Very Elegant Tea Party, I have included a gorgeous template of two teacups that can be printed out or photocopied then coloured, and then a real tea bag which can be attached to the handle to say ‘Thank you’ to friends and family.  By doing this it shows appreciation of friendship and thankfulness of one another.

Being thankful changes everything.

Being worried and complaining doesn’t have any positive outcomes for anyone. It only makes things worse.  

Other people start to feel better when they are around others that are thankful. It makes them feel good and is contagious. In the same way, complaining and whinging can be contagious, and only brings people down. 

Jacqui Preugschat is a mum, homeschooler, children’s book author, teacher and blogger. You can learn more on her website.